When I first started feeding the animals at Old Bedlam Farm I would cry. I didn’t know why it made me cry, but Jon said it was because feeding the animals was a very nurturing thing to do. And although I didn’t see myself as a nurturing person, (I’ve never been interested in having children or even spending lots of time with them and I’m not much of a caregiver) it seemed what Jon was saying was true.
Feeding and taking care of the animals satisfied a deep nurturing need in me that I couldn’t express towards people. I think the animals helped open up that part of me. And although I’m still not looking to be a caretaker of any kind, I think experiencing and acknowledging this part of myself allows me to love more deeply and fully.
Jon often says that he doesn’t like sheep and only has them because of the Border Collies. But Jon is a very nurturing man, with people and animals. More nurturing than me in many ways. You can see a little of it in the attentive way he feeds the sheep (his least favorite of the animals on the farm). And you can hear it in his voice, in the easy and generous way he works with Fate and Red.